IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2014 - 22

The Changing Nature
of the Gas-Electric
Interface

Percent of Total System Capacity by Fuel Type (2000 Versus 2013)
(23,975 MW Versus 31,759 MW)
2000
2013

18%
15%

43%
34%
22%

18%
12%

11%

7%
Nuclear

Oil

Coal

Natural
Gas

7%

Hydro
and Other
Renewables

figure 1. Capacity allocation in New England, 2000 and 2013.

incremental deliveries of liquefied natural gas (LNG) into
the market, or expanded oil backup programs. Further,
questions remain about how the costs incurred in implementing such options would be recovered and about which
organization or organizations would own and manage daily
gas capacity release.
The challenges faced in New England are unlikely to
be limited to that region in the future, and the ISO-NE's
polar vortex experience should be seen as a bellwether for
other ISOs and regional transmission organizations (RTOs)
to carefully consider as gas and electric interdependency
increases across the country. Additional study and coordination with gas sector partners will therefore be essential,
and a number of important infrastructure and regulatory
issues will need to be addressed in order to provide a strong
and reliable future for integrated gas and electric markets.

2001 Power
2001 Nonpower
2013 Power
2013 Nonpower

90
Gas Consumption, Average Bcf/d

Pumped
Storage

Changing Fuel Mix for
the Electric Sector

Since the beginning of the century, New England's installed generating capacity has
shifted gradually from oil, coal, and nuclear to natural gas.
Though these shifts have occurred for a number of underlying reasons (e.g., environmental concerns about coal-fired
generation and reduced reliance on oil-fired generation
due to price considerations), the fundamental resource balance for ISO-NE's power generation shifted dramatically
between 2000 and 2013. ISO-NE's oil-fueled capacity has
dropped from 34% of total system capacity in 2000 to 22%
in 2013, whereas its gas-fired capacity has increased from
18% in 2000 to 43% in 2013 (see Figure 1). Moreover, natural gas generation has more than doubled as a share of New
England's total generation energy production from 2000
through 2013, so ISO-NE has grown increasingly reliant on
the availability and price stability of natural gas to produce
electric power.

Increased Gas-Fired Generation
Led to Increased Gas Use

100

80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10

Across the United States, gas-fired generation has grown
greatly since the turn of the century, accounting for most of
the growth in total gas consumption. In 2001, peak-month
(i.e., January) gas use stood at about 85 billion ft3 per day
(see Figure 2). By 2013, peak-month use had grown to well
above 90 billion ft3 per day, with much (if not all) of the
growth occurring in gas-fired generation. In addition, gas
use has grown throughout the year as the use of natural gas
as fuel for base-load generation has increased. These historical trends show that gas used in the power sector has become
a much more significant portion of gas markets throughout
the United States.
Components of Gas Supply

Ja
n

.
Fe
b.
M
ar
.
Ap
r.
M
ay
Ju
ne
Ju
ly
Au
g
Se .
pt
.
O
ct
.
N
ov
.
D
ec
.

Source: EIA Natural Gas Consumption by End Use

figure 2. U.S. monthly gas use, 2001 and 2013 (source: EIA).
22

7% 5%

ISO-NE's experience during the
2013-2014 winter revealed the consequences of important changes in
the gas and electric sectors. These
changes in the nature of electric
power generation have posed systemic challenges to the operation
of the electric grid that other system
operators may need to consider in
the near future.

ieee power & energy magazine

There are two components of gas supply to electric generators. The first is the wellhead supply of the gas commodity.
The United States is well supplied with natural gas resources,
largely due to the development of shale gas resources. The
second component is the infrastructure to deliver the gas
november/december 2014



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2014

IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2014 - Cover1
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IEEE Power & Energy Magazine - November/December 2014 - Cover3
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